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Thread: Neglected German and Austrian orchestral composers and works of the late romantic era

  1. #16
    Senior Member Orfeo's Avatar
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    Felix Draeseke comes to mind. I find his First Symphony highly rewarding (the middle movements are quite terrific) and its successors are fine (esp. the Third). He was highly regarded during his lifetime.

    While I agree that Schmidt deserves a mentioning in regards to this topic (as does Robert Fuchs, by the way), Karl Goldmark is also worth a mention, at least in my estimation. The 1990s was sort of a renaissance in the promotion of his works (via recordings most of all), and the Queen of Sheba is getting its dues, if slowly and unevenly. But this otherwise fine composer has ways to go to get himself more firmly in the repertoire.
    David A. Hollingsworth (dholling)

    ~All good art is about something deeper than it admits.
    Roger Ebert

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    Schmidt, Reger, Hausegger (Natursymphonie), Schreker, Braunfels and Marx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Spohr - Symphony 6 (link).
    Thank you Art Rock, I had never heard of this interesting earlier work, which begins stylistically in the Baroque and goes ahead historically with successive movements. I think Schmidt's Symphony No. 2 is less clear cut -- there is more interweaving of ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Felix Weingartner has left a vast number of orchestral compositions - 7 symphonies, various poems and overtures etc.
    Thanks Azol for your message. I have listened with pleasure to Symphonies 1 and 4 of the fine Marko Letoja/Sinfonieorchester Basel set:

    No. 1 -- listening to the 2nd movement for the first time I heard the opening motif's rhythm as being too-often repeated (though with varying pitches); the second time I heard it as a march, and it made sense -- reminder of the ceremonial side of orchestral music then
    No. 4 -- more genial and relaxed than No. 1; the second movement is on the cute side, but I like the symphony overall. As with No. 1 there is more context -- certainly waltz, maybe folk or popular song, a woman Weingartner was in love with ...
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Aug-21-2017 at 14:47.

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    I can't seem to get into it any more than I can Raff, but it's worth mentioning Max Bruch. Apart from the famous Violin Concerto no. 1, he wrote three symphonies.

    Ferdinand Hiller was a little earlier, but wrote some piano concerti and apparently symphonies. This one in F minor is nice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw7L19bGTeA
    Last edited by clavichorder; Aug-21-2017 at 22:08.

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    Early Modernists? Not a rant, I hope!

    Thanks for mentioning Bruch in this context -- I have a lot of listening to do, given the number of suggestions. A week into this thread all composers named have been worth hearing, at the very least!

    A general issue I'd like to raise is the recent New Musicological practice of calling Strauss, Mahler and contemporaries Early Modernists. Late Romanticism covers a long period; some use Postromantics or Neoromantics for certain composers. Fine, as a non-musicologist I'm not so fussy with terminology. But "Early Modernists?" Both Mahler and Strauss were innovative but I can't hear them as other than late Romantic, in a new phase if you like. And if they are Early Modernists, what are Schmidt, Hausegger, Marx, Korngold, and others -- chopped liver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by clavichorder View Post
    I can't seem to get into it any more than I can Raff, but it's worth mentioning Max Bruch. Apart from the famous Violin Concerto no. 1, he wrote three symphonies.[/url]
    I'm very fond of Bruch's Third Symphony (1887), at least as recorded by James Conlon/Koelner Philharmoniker. It is spirited and the slow movement is especially beautiful. Definitely one I'll go back to!
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Aug-25-2017 at 15:31. Reason: correct orchestra name

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    I am German, maybe the German point of view is a bit differant?

    Max Reger is simply a very difficult composer. His Mozart variations are very popular, but if you know only the Mozart variations, you don't know the real Reger. Reger is as a matter of fact a more modern composer. Part of this modernity is that he writes what he calls "musical prose". That does mean that we are all used to listen to "musical poetry" which means that music is thought in periods who may last mostly 8 bars. But in Regers music a musical period can last 5,6 or 7 bars, this is what Reger call's musical prose. But this somehow disappoints our expectations. So Reger is not part of the Vienese school. But in this respect he is certainly a kind of an avantgarde composer. And that makes his music difficult. Not the Mozart variations but for example most parts of his chamber music. I love his chamber music, especially his string quartetts ( the Opus 74 is a great work). But it's really difficult and it lasts some time until you grasp the real essence of the music. The attitude to Max Reger in Germany is mostly, that he is a very important composer and nobody would call him second-rate but he is difficult. He may have written some works who are more popular like the Mozart variations but the genuine Reger lays behind it and this genuine Reger is something very difficult to understand but deeply respected.

    So much for Max Reger. For other composers. I know music of Franz Schmidt, a bit Bruch, Pfitzner sometimes is beautifull, Rudi Stephan very talented and there may be some others. But most of these composers are seen as very good composers, but nevertheless a bit second-rate ( but only a bit). Not Max Reger, who is seen more as a very difficult composer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Titan View Post
    The attitude to Max Reger in Germany is mostly, that he is a very important composer and nobody would call him second-rate but he is difficult. He may have written some works who are more popular like the Mozart variations but the genuine Reger lays behind it and this genuine Reger is something very difficult to understand but deeply respected.
    Your account of Max Reger in Germany rings true! Despite our efforts, he is less appreciated here in Canada than in Germany. I love his piano and organ music; during the 1970's I performed the piano Prelude and Fugue in D minor from op. 99. Also I was blessed to hear in concert Jorge Bolet play the Telemann variations and Gerhard Wuensch the Bach. Thank you for recommending Reger's difficult chamber music. As for his more popular Mozart orchestra variations, the mastery of orchestration and harmony is still impressive. In Canada we hear Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, and Strauss, which is great, but the other composers for orchestra are only known on recordings. Posters on this thread are helping me sort them out -- if anyone knows a reference (including German-language) that discusses these other composers seriously please let me know.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Aug-26-2017 at 16:47.

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    Franz Schmidt Fourth Symphony. Not a masterpiece, but definitely worthy.

    Zubin Mehta/Vienna Philharmonic is as good as it gets.
    Last edited by hpowders; Aug-26-2017 at 17:25.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Franz Schreker, the German Impressionist, is an interest of mine

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Franz Schmidt Fourth Symphony. Not a masterpiece, but definitely worthy.
    Zubin Mehta/Vienna Philharmonic is as good as it gets.
    A noble, moving work by a composer who knew the face of tragedy -- Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic give it their all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Spohr - Symphony 6 (link).
    Wonderful! Thanks for the link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    A noble, moving work by a composer who knew the face of tragedy -- Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic give it their all.
    That haunting opening trumpet solo is memorable.
    Last edited by hpowders; Aug-26-2017 at 23:24.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Erno Dohnanyi, one of the true successors of Brahms who wrote a wealth of chamber music, symphonies and concertos which are conspicuously absent from the repertory.

    Violin Concerto No.1
    Piano Concerto No.1
    Piano Quintet No.1
    Piano Quintet No.2
    Last edited by pjang23; Aug-27-2017 at 02:13.

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